The Bear and the Nightingale – Katherine Arden

In a village at the edge of the wilderness of northern Russia, where the winds blow cold and the snow falls many months of the year, an elderly servant tells stories of sorcery, folklore and the Winter King to the children of the family, tales of old magic frowned upon by the church.

But for the young, wild Vasya these are far more than just stories. She alone can see the house spirits that guard her home, and sense the growing forces of dark magic in the woods… –

I received this book free from the publisher via in exchange for an honest review.

I feel like the name Katherine Arden had been rattling around my head a while before I was able to read one of her books. To be honest, I can’t remember when I first heard of her but I’m glad I did.

Aside from my personal confusion with the multiple names per character, I absolutely loved this book. It started out with a lot of world and relationship building which wasn’t entirely exciting but became incredibly important as the novel went on. The world that Vasya lives in slowly reveals itself to be incredibly magical and frightening. It was like living in a real-life fairy tale.

I’m excited by the prospect of a sequel because I think this is going to be one of those stories that you just can’t get enough of, though it was also work well as a stand-alone if you are too perfectly satisfied with only book one.


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